Is the title ~[殿]{どの} used in modern day Japanese? If so, which people can you use it with? I've only really seen it come across in referring to [大]{だい}[名]{みょう} (feudal lords). Also it is applicable to use as a translation of "sir" of people who have been knighted by the queen of England?


2 Answers 2


You may use it in emails, especially when you contact another company or another department which you have never contacted before.

関係者各位殿 To whom it may concerned

〇〇社〇〇殿 To (someone) in company  

(部署名)殿 To (Department name)

Note: I personally don't use it, because I feel that it's extreme polite, but when I searched mailing list in my company, I got around 400 hits for around a year, so indeed some people use it.

  • 2
    I think that 各位殿 is incorrect because both 各位 and 殿 are honorifics. (But it is true that some people use 各位殿.) Jun 20, 2011 at 11:14
  • @Tsuyoshi, I see, Indeed some people using it. I pick up those from my company emails.
    – YOU
    Jun 20, 2011 at 11:20
  • @TsuyoshiIto &YOU. Where does 殿 fall with respect to 様?
    – Flaw
    Jan 3, 2012 at 9:05
  • @Flaw Channeled to a separate question: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/5723/…
    – Pacerier
    Jun 2, 2012 at 15:51

I am not sure whether it counts as your expected answer, but you have titles with 殿 used in monarchies or for aristocrats: エリザベス・オブ・ヨーク王女殿下(Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York). You will have to check for yourself for how to express each title, but it seems to be limited to the "highness" derivatives.

Then, as a polite name suffix the Japanese Wikipedia page also states that it is seldom used in spoken Japanese, and mostly used in letters and documents.

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